Torres to Teach Popular Summer Curanderismo Class for 16th Year

April 19, 2016 - Dorene DiNaro

Tonita smudging photo For the sixteenth consecutive summer, Dr. Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, UNM Vice President for Student Affairs and professor of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies, in conjunction with the UNM Women’s Resource Center, will host the “Traditional Medicine without Borders: Curanderismo in the Southwest and Mexico,” two week course at The University of New Mexico from July 11-22.  

This popular summer class is an opportunity for Mexican traditional healers to share their knowledge about “Curanderismo” the art and science of Mexican traditional healing through a unique class.  Over the past several years the class has expanded to both an UNM online class for credit offered in the spring and fall, and as a Massive Open Online Class (MOOC) non-credit option offered through Coursera.

Those interested in taking the summer class can take it either for UNM credit (as a UNM registered student) or as a non-credit course through UNM Continuing Education. Registration through Continuing Education is already open and UNM begins registration for the summer of 2016 on Monday, April 18. 

Torres takes an integrative approach to medicine and his class features demonstrations incorporating Curanderismo with various traditional and holistic health techniques. The course uses healers and health practitioners from Mexico and the Albuquerque community as instructors. 

“What’s unique about this class is that local curanderos, practitioners and healers all come together to share and learn about traditional healing methods,” Torres says. “The first week local curanderos will be involved, while both Mexican curanderos and local curanderos will take part in week two.”

“Rita Naverrete Perez, a curandera from Mexico City, does a very popular demonstration on laugh therapy and how it can be used to heal,” Torres says.  Some of the other demonstrations include: healing of emotions with song and sound, energetic cleansings, the medicine of the drum, Mayan traditional healings, and several more.

Each summer in conjunction with the class, the UNM Women’s Resource Center sponsors a Mexican traditional health fair (feria de salud) on the UNM campus, which is open to students and the community. This year’s fair will be held on Wednesday, July 20 from noon to 5 p.m. in the north of Zimmerman Library near the duck pond. 

“The healers will provide traditional healing treatments including herbal medications, spiritual energy cleansings and other healing techniques, which have remained a part of the Mexican culture for centuries,” said Torres. “The event is free but donations will be accepted.”

For more information on the class including registration, class syllabus or health fairs and workshops visit the Curanderismo class website or follow us on our class Facebook page.